A recently auctioned concert contract from 1965 shows the Beatles' brilliant lyrics weren't confined to songs.
The Beatles-John, Paul, George and Ringo-refused to play for segregated audiences. According to the 1965 contract for a concert in the Cow Palace outside San Francisco, there was a legal rider stipulating that they would not go on stage for a “segregated audience.”
Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn subsequently revealed that the Beatles routinely had a contract clause during their epic 1965 and 1966 US tours whereby they would refuse to perform for any segregated audience.
Not only did the Beatles walk their talk, they were willing to give up a hefty payday to support the cause of equality among races at a time when bands just did not do that sort of thing. As the biggest band in the world, they were keen to use their stardom to do more than generate fame and fortune for themselves.
The Beatles' very best words, then, were not sung at all. They were written into a contract that has now seen the light of day.
The light of a much better, much brighter, day.
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